If you’re thinking of exporting to a country where American products are in high demand or if you’re trying to buy quality supplies to manufacture your products, Latin America provides the best of both worlds.
For your safety, the government of the United States through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates a number of commercial activities, which allow entrepreneurial Americans to access quality products at lower prices compared to products they could buy in China. Likewise, the FTC enables Latin-American entrepreneurs to access the American market.
In 2011, our business counselor Martha Jimenez was researching the coffee market in Colombia with the intent to export coffee to the United States. Pictured above, you can see the coffee farm she visited, which employs more than 800 people.
The next step was the tasting process to ensure that the coffee met quality standards. Professional tasters slurp the coffee and fully saturate their mouths, then spit it out.
The final step involved packaging the coffee. The numbers printed on the coffee sack identify the originating farm where the coffee was grown, and the destination city, which will receive the coffee. For many Americans, coffee is in high demand, so it’s a hot commodity!
Overall, Colombia has proven to be a good strategic partner to the United States for political, geographic and economic reasons. According to Doing Business in 2015, “Colombia is the first country to protect investors,” and ranked #1 as a “friendly country” to do business.
Colombia ’s official portal of investment states, “Colombia has eight free trade agreements in force—three signed agreements and five under negotiation—that will bring the world to your fingertips, and grant preferential access to 1.5 billion consumers in more than 45 countries.”
Location, location, location. Colombia’s central geographic location allows you to easily access global markets, which guarantees more competitive prices when doing business. Additionally, you can purchase Colombian supplies to manufacture your products, and create a larger profit margin due to the devaluation of the local currency (Colombian pesos).
In business it’s advantageous to think globally, as 95% of business consumers are outside of the United States. Later this year, the MWBC will launch an international trade program to help guide clients through the process of successfully engaging in international trade through resource partner development, training/counseling, and trade missions/delegations. To learn more about MWBC, visit www.marylandwbc.org.